Дайджест5 Апреля 2012 года
Glasnost defence foundation digest No. 564
2 April 2012
Glasnost defence foundation
By Anna Lebedeva, GDF correspondent in Southern Federal District
Toward the end of the working day on 29 March, city administration officials in Novocherkassk came to the office of the newspaper Novocherkasskiye Vedomosti (NV) to present an order by Municipal Property Committee head Tamara Leonova relieving Irina Vassilyeva, NV chief editor and director of the municipal publishing company of the same name, of her directorship. Combining the two positions is a usual practice in the region.
The order was said to have been issued in implementation of Acting Mayor Pavel Ovcharov’s decision to appoint Yuri Butin, an administration adviser on Cossacks’ affairs and the founder of a commercial firm, Energo-N, to act in Vassilyeva’s stead until the end of her sick-leave period – and this despite his prior record of work with the newspaper having at best been limited to that of an ordinary advertiser. Also, the acting mayor ordered that an entry be made into the Taxpayers’ Unified State Register to reflect the intra-company reshuffle.
By that time, Vassilyeva had stayed less than two weeks on the sick list with an acute respiratory infection – while still coming to the office every day to work on a regular NV issue in spite of the high temperature and sickness. The visiting group, which included Butin, Leonova and a third mayoral official, demanded that Vassilyeva submit the company seal and leave the office.
The editor had nothing to do but close her sick list and return to work (although she had been sent for a medical examination to the Rostov Cardiology Centre). The mayor’s office thus did not have the time to have the newly-appointed director’s inauguration officially registered.
As we have reported, the Novocherkassk mayor’s office already fired Irina Vassilyeva twice before – only to see her each time reinstated by a court of law. It seems the city leaders have now devised a new and subtler method of putting pressure on the disfavoured editor.
Vassilyeva again intends to challenge the mayoral decision in court.
By Georgy Borodyansky, GDF correspondent in Siberian Federal District
The regional arbitration court in Omsk on 28 March ruled on the start of the final stage of bankruptcy proceedings in respect of the Omsk Press House (OPH), a printing company owing 60 million roubles to its creditors, most notably to Rospechat, Russia’s monopolistic press distributor, which two years ago demanded that the OPH operation be made subject to monitoring. After five months of close watching, the Press House was placed under external, a measure expected to make it “economically healthier”. Over the subsequent year and a half, however, it turned out impossible to rid the company of its debt burden and restore its solvency – not even by auctioning off its major asset, a four-storey administrative building of 6,600 sq. m in downtown Omsk, head manager Andrei Kotelnikov told the Kommersant newspaper. The building would not sell either at the initial price of 136 million roubles nor with a 10% discount. To attract potential buyers, creditors suggested putting it up for auction again as several smaller lots in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings.
The Press House is not only the largest but also the oldest printing company in Omsk, established in 1925. Until the start of perestroika, it used to house the offices of the region’s major media and to print hundreds of small local newspapers. It was the quintessence of Omsk journalism and the professional cradle for many eminent political writers (Pyotr Rebrin, Leonid Ivanov), poets and prose writers (Pyotr Dravert, Arkady Kutilov, Timofei Belozyorov, Leonid Martynov, Sergei Zalygin), and other writing celebrities.
The 1990s will be remembered for the liberating wind of change that swept the Press House like no other media organisation, only to peter out without a trace by the early 2000s, when a protracted confrontation began between the city mayor and the regional governor.
In end-2008 the Press House, along with 25 other large printing firms across Russia, joined the Rossiyskaya Gazeta media holding. Evidently, that did not help much; the regional newspapers within the OPH are in for hard times – not only because of the House’s bankruptcy but also in view of imminent political change: on 24 May, Governor Leonid Polezhayev is to step down after more than 20 years at the region’s helm. None of the candidates for his seat (whose names are listed on United Russia’s website) seems to be able to make a good successor to the governor, which means the regional media will likely be reformed.
“One party that is certain to be harmed by Polezhayev’s retirement is his media pool,” Communist MP Alexander Kravets said in an interview for the SuperOmsk news agency. “The governor’s agitprop is under a very real threat in connection with his pending resignation.”
Still, most of the Omsk-based media are likely to cope with the current difficulties, although one may expect them to make a historic turn, Kravets said.
See Digest 550
By Mikhail Lobanov, GDF correspondent in Volga Federal District
The Kamskiye Zori municipal newspaper issued in the district of Dobryanka is to disclaim a reader’s letter it published about someone described only as “Mr V.” The other co-defendant, local resident Rimma Postnikova, is to acknowledge her status as an individual businesswoman, which she actually is not.
Digest No. 550 reported on a litigation started by Vassily Blaginykh of Dobryanka, who claimed hurt by a 25 August 2011 publication that did not mention his name but carried a photo picture of a shop, Victoria (owned by another person), which stands next to the Okolitsa pavilion (which the claimant does not own either). Yet he identified himself with the main character of the critical publication and demanded a disclaimer of information that struck him as “smearing” and “libellous”. Also, he claimed 50,000 roubles in moral damages.
The district court on 1 November 2011 did not find evidence of anyone’s attempts to belie Blaginykh and turned his legal claim down in full. But the higher-standing regional court in Perm on 12 December cancelled the first court’s ruling on the grounds that “the above phrases, in terms of their content and meaning in the context of the article, and considering the appended photo picture and address of the shop, as well as the small population of the town of Dobryanka, unambiguously point to the plaintiff as the person to whom the circulated information relates”.
Just a couple of weeks later, the Dobryanka district court changed its decision to one dead opposite to the first, and the regional court on 26 March left it in full legal force. The defendants now must disclaim as inaccurate a passage in the story “No Peace with the Rival Around” published in Kamskiye Zori issue No. 34 (10968), in which “individual entrepreneur” Rimma Postnikova complained about the following:
“…My competitor Mr V., the owner of a neighbouring shop, again started putting spokes in our wheels. First, he smashed the supply meter to pieces, then he cut off a conductor cable… and most recently he tore our advertising placard – a large photo poster worth 6,500 roubles, featuring beautiful juicy berries – off the wall of our shop. …The point is his former customers come to our trade outlet now and don’t visit his shop anymore because everyone knows he sells alcohol illegally… The guy comes back every day, cursing and threatening us.”
The newspaper and Postnikova are to pay Blaginykh 5,000 roubles each in moral damages – despite never mentioning his name in the article. Postnikova’s claim that she is not a businesswoman and not the owner of the Victoria shop were disregarded by the court of appeals as “legally unrelated to the dispute under consideration”.
By Roman Zholud, GDF correspondent in Central Federal District
The Leninsky district court in Voronezh on 22 March lifted administrative charges against Nina Belyayeva, 22, an opposition activist accused of breaching electoral law by posting a text on her personal page in the Vkontakte social network.
In January, Belyayeva, a co-organiser of For Honest and Fair Elections rallies in Voronezh, posted calls to vote against Vladimir Putin during the upcoming presidential elections. This was noted by monitors from the regional police department’s Anti-Extremism Centre who forwarded a copy of the text to the regional electoral committee, asking to evaluate it in terms of compliance with effective legislation, the Centre’s chief Vadim Svatikov said.
In a reply message, Committee deputy head Vyacheslav Cherepukhin described Belyayeva’s text as a graphic instance of “unlawful agitation”, prompting the police in February to start administrative proceedings against the activist on charges of “producing and circulating canvassing material in violation of the laws on elections and referenda”.
In the course of the hearings, the prosecution failed to unambiguously prove that the “unlawful calls” had been posted by Belyayeva in person, her defence lawyer Olga Gnezdilova said, adding that she, for her part, had failed to persuade the court that the charges brought against her client were at odds with international law and that the publication’s impact on would-be voters was really negligible.
The hearings also threw light on how Voronezh police officers had monitored suspected electoral law violations in the Internet. It turned out they simply typed in a retrieval request, “Russia without Putin. Voronezh”, and proceeded to scan the comments found for “heretic” content.
The court acquitted Nina Belyayeva because it found her authorship unproven. Regrettably therefore, the issue of whether or not a posting on one’s personal page in a social network can at all be viewed as “canvassing,” was left beyond the scope of judicial attention.
By Anna Seleznyova, GDF correspondent in Far Eastern Federal District
The office of the RF President’s Personal Envoy to the Far East has acknowledged at long last that administration officials spend too much on their self-promotion: this year’s regional budget provisions for media support throughout the Federal District add up to 2.1 billion roubles.
Envoy Viktor Ishayev drew legislators’ attention to the need to cut down spending on the media. “This year’s allocations in support of the media have grown, whereas spending on small- and medium-sized business assistance and social projects has decreased,” he said. “The 2 billion roubles would be enough to build ten kindergartens, of which there is an acute deficit. The authorities, instead, have preferred to sing their own praises in the press. It is indeed puzzling how they’ve managed to approve such (astronomic) budgets.”
“We’ll take a closer look to see what the regional and local administrations have done to improve the pre-school education system,” Ishayev went on to say. “We are not satisfied with some local authorities spending up to 50 million roubles on their promotion on TV while paying for construction of kindergartens and other social facilities from the federal budget.” In Vladivostok, nearly 12,000 children are on the waiting list for admittance to kindergartens, the Deita news agency quoted the Envoy’s office as saying.
Meanwhile, the Vladivostok mayor’s office has held tenders for the provision of press services to the city administration and its head Igor Pushkaryov in 2012, with the closing price of the agreements with service providers exceeding 66 million roubles or 1.58 million euro. Apparently, the Vladivostok authorities are turning a deaf ear to the presidential envoy’s warnings…
By Natalya Yusupova, GDF correspondent in North Caucasian Federal District
The Journalists’ Union and Bar Association in Adygea have signed a co-operation agreement aimed “to teach the public to observe and defend human rights and civil liberties, encourage people to adopt a more active life stand (on social issues), and raise the level of legal culture in society,” according to JU head Timur Derbe.
The agreement provides for mutually beneficial co-operation: the journalistic community will popularise the Bar’s activity, and lawyers, for their part, will provide free legal assistance to journalists where professionally necessary. This will include defence in court at all stages of judicial proceedings and consulting on different legal aspects of journalism. Lawyers have pledged to defend the rights and lawful interests of JU members in the course of their professional work.
This unique experience should be rolled out to other Russian regions, Derbe noted, which suggestion deserves comprehensive support, considering the deplorable situation which has emerged in this country in the past few years in the area of journalist rights protection.
GLASNOST DEFENCE FOUNDATION
Attacks on journalists – 13 (Ilya Vasyunin, correspondent, Dozhd magazine, Moscow; Vologda-Portal film crew, Vologda; Alexander Mikhalenkov, reporter, Branskoye Obozreniye opposition newspaper, Bryansk; Yevgeny Titov, correspondent, Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Krasnodar; Alexander Borzenko, correspondent, Ekho Moskvy radio station, Moscow; Pavel Nikulin, correspondent, Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper, Moscow; Andrei Ryvkin, columnist, GQ magazine, Moscow; Albina Abubakirova, correspondent, Grazhdansky Golos newspaper, St. Petersburg; Ulyana Malashenko, correspondent, Kommersant FM radio station, Moscow; Ivan Shumkov, correspondent, Vedomosti Ural newspaper, Yekaterinburg; Ilya Azovsky, editor-in-chief, Pravda Severo-Zapada newspaper, Arkhangelsk Region; Yuri Tsyganyuk, correspondent, Yabloko Rossii newspaper, Moscow Region; Mikhail Shestakov, correspondent, Yabloko Rossii newspaper, Tula).
Instances of censorship – 6 (website of RF Human Rights Ombudsman; NTV, Moscow; 100 TV channel, St. Petersburg; Osinskiye Vesti newspaper, Perm Region; Voronezhsky Kuryer newspaper, Voronezh; Ekho Moskvy radio station, Yaroslavl).
Criminal charges against journalists and media – 3 (Andrei Sergeyev, freelance correspondent, Pokrovsk newspaper, Saratov Region; Arkady Babchenko, freelance journalist, Moscow; Andrei Kolomoisky, journalist, Vyborgskiye Novosti newspaper, Leningrad Region).
Detention by police, FSB, etc. – 26 (Natalya Kotenko, editor, Novaya Gazeta-Altaiskiy Krai newspaper, Barnaul; Igor Taro, correspondent, Estonian public TV/radio corporation, Pskov; Regina Sabirzyanova, correspondent, Grazhdansky Golos newspaper, Kazan; Anton Voronin, Grazhdansky Golos newspaper, Nizhny Novgorod; Yevgeny Feldman, photo correspondent, Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Moscow; Alexander Robotinsky, freelance correspondent, Bloknot newspaper, Kirov; Yuri Cherkasov, Grazhdansky Golos newspaper, Chelyabinsk; Dmitry Filimonov, correspondent, Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper, Moscow; Danila Lindele, blogger, Ilya Barabanov, journalist, The New Times, and Vladimir Romensky, correspondent, Ekho Moskvy radio station – all three of Moscow; Pavel Nikulin, Moskovskiye Novosti correspondent, Maria Klimova, Ridus correspondent, Andrei Stenin, RIA Novosti photo correspondent, Arkady Babchenko, Novaya Gazeta journalist, and Gleb Shchelkunov, Kommersant photo correspondent – all five of Moscow; Lev Lourier, freelance journalist, and Boris Vishnevsky, Novaya Gazeta correspondent – both of St. Petersburg; Maksim Borodin, reporter, and Maksin Izgagin, cameraman, Channel Four, Sverdlovsk Region; Vladimir Ivanov, freelance journalist, St. Petersburg; Maksim Xiu, Komsomolskaya Pravda correspondent, St. Petersburg; Leonid Kovyazin, freelance correspondent, Vyatsky Nablyudatel newspaper, Kirov – detained in Moscow; Ivan Shumkov, Vedomosti Ural correspondent, Yekaterinburg; Fyodor Gorozhanko, editor-in-chief, Zalibayev.spb website, St. Petersburg; Ilya Trusov, Piter.tv correspondent, and Oleg Salomatin, BaltInfo correspondent – both of St. Petersburg).
Legal claims against journalists and media, registered – 14, worth a total of 56,500,000 roubles.
Refusals to provide information (including bans on use of audio recorders and video/photo cameras; refusals to provide accreditation; restrictions on admittance to official events held by government bodies, industrial enterprises or state institutions) – 76.
Threats against journalists and media – 2 (Anton Nosik, freelance journalist, Moscow; Roman Popov, anchor, Ekho Permi radio station, Perm).
Withdrawal (purchase, seizure) of print run – 4 (Listok newspaper, Altai Republic; Pravda newspaper, Perm Region; Zvezda newspaper, Vologda Region; Sovetsky Sakhalin newspaper, Sakhalin Region).
Interference with Internet publications – 7 (UralInformBureau news agency, Yekaterinburg; NTV website, twice; TNT website; Ridus website; Сredo.ru web portal; Ekho Peterburga radio station’s website).
Release of duplicate (i.e., rival) newspapers – 5 (newspapers Smolenskaya Pravda and Ne Dai Bog, both in Smolensk Region; newspapers Vash Oreol and Domashnyaya Gazeta, both in Omsk; Ostankinskiye Vedomosti newspaper, Moscow).
Confiscation of or damage to photo, video or audio apparatus and computers – 5 (photo camera of Golos Association correspondent, Moscow Region; video camera of Caucasian Knot correspondent Svetlana Kravchenko, Krasnodar Region; web server and editorial photo camera of Pskovskaya Provintsiya newspaper, Pskov; video camera of Yabloko Rossii correspondent Yuri Tsyganyuk, Moscow Region).
Administrative pressure (unplanned inspections by sanitary, fire or tax inspectors) – 2 (Puls TV/radio company, Rostov Region, twice).
Other forms of pressure/infringement of journalists’ rights – 31.
By Georgy Tashmatov, GDF correspondent in Southern Federal District
Some press pools’ work according to the principle, “Something sensational or nothing at all,” caused the Golos Kubani public association of freelance journalists in the Krasnodar Region to establish in 2009 an “anti-award” called “Roast Canard”, for which any press service throughout the region may be nominated. Eligible for the anti-award might be any press pool whose news reporting fails to meet three major criteria – timeliness, accuracy, accessibility. The project has from the outset been actively supported not only by journalists but also by prominent public activists, politicians and ordinary regional residents who are compelled to request information from official sources time and again.
This year the public Jury had to select the winner from a whole 28 nominees, versus only 7 last year. In journalists’ view, access to information about the work of local administrations, regional branches of federal agencies, and business companies in the Krasnodar Region has grown more restricted over the past year.
Three candidates hit the final: the press service of the Krasnodar regional branch of the United Russia party (URP); the regional Youth Affairs Department; and the Federal Bailiffs Service department for the region of Krasnodar. A secret ballot gave the “victory” to the ruling party’s press pool. Explaining their decision, jurors said the year 2011 was marked by numerous elections to city- and district-level executive and legislative bodies throughout the region as tryouts for the presidential vote of 4 March 2012. The country’s number one party and its regional branch were of top interest to the public, and reporters for a variety of media sought to keep their readers and viewers informed about events organised by the URP in the Kuban River area. The URP press service, however, showed little interest in making information about regional party activities known to all, not only to party members. So the glass bird embodying the Roast Canard will be sent one of these days to Irina Kaulko, press secretary of the United Russia branch in Krasnodar.
The anti-award’s main goal is to invigorate press services’ activity and make them realise that implementing the people’s constitutional right to be informed is their top priority.
As an exclusive prize annually awarded to only one winner, the Canard figurine is to be designed anew every year, the Jury decided. This year’s glass bird was made by Gennady Popov, a member of the Artists’ Union of Russia. The organisers hope a time will come when the Canard will be left on the shelf as an unclaimed “prize”.
By Georgy Borodyansky, GDF correspondent in Siberian Federal District
If the girls from the Pussy Riot punk rock group had held their “service” not at Moscow’s Cathedral of the Redeemer but at some church in Omsk, Governor Leonid Polezhayev would give them a “fatherly” treatment.
Appearing in the latest “Hour with the Governor” TV show, Polezhayev suggested a fairly surprising way of tackling the Pussy Riot problem: he said that after the scandalous concert at the Cathedral, the girl singers should have been taken home for their fathers – not clerical but natural – to give them “a good thrashing”. It may as well be noted here that many Omsk residents call Polezhayev “the Omsk Pope” in jest.
“If I were those girls’ father,” he said, “I’d simply give them a lashing – that’s that. I figure that would cool down their desire to take part in similar escapades in the future.”
“Neither society nor the church will ever benefit” from their placement in a pre-trial detention facility with the prospect of a real term in jail, the governor added.
“The church should resist them and their likes by praying, not by calling for punishment, still less for imprisonment,” Polezhayev said. “As regards the public, each is to judge for oneself and express one’s own degree of censure.”
Considering the fact that Russia’s oldest regional leader has never before been known to differ considerably with the power vertical’s opinion, one may suppose the national leadership, too, is prone to set the punk rockers free, since their imprisonment might raise a wave of “public disapproval”.
By Vladimir Golubev, GDF correspondent in Urals Federal District
The Extraordinary Conference of the Sverdlovsk Creative Union of Journalists (SCUJ) continued its work in Yekaterinburg on 30 March. After the first, December, part of the conference, at which heated debates had flared up over SCUJ Board chair Dmitry Polyanin’s call to reform the Union, particularly to amend its charter, up to the Union’s full liquidation and placement under Moscow’s control, passions were running high. Some delegates demanded that Polyanin personally report on the work done in the past few years; Dmitry, for his part, announced his readiness to resign…
During the three months since December, SCUJ debates have continued uninterrupted, with diametrically opposite opinions voiced; in the previous seven years, the executive secretary’s position actually remained unfilled, many current issues gave rise to little action, and the Board itself met just a few times. This notwithstanding, any instance of pressure on journalists would trigger adequate response, and newspaper staffs and individual journalists would receive the essential support, whenever necessary. Urals journalists were the first in Russia to establish a grassroots blogger organisation, and the blogger community has generally grown strong enough over the years to prevent the hushing-up of civil initiatives and media rights violations.
In my view, the debates and discussions resulted in a victory for common sense, due in many aspects to the plenary meeting of the SCUJ Board held on 17 February, at which Dmitry Polyanin withdrew his radical reform suggestions rejected by so many of his colleagues. He said Sverdlovsk Governor Alexander Misharin has requested a list of sites where the would-be regional House of Journalists might move in. This issue has long been a top priority for one of Russia’s largest and most active journalistic associations. Naturally, in the event of such a house opened, liquidation of the SCUJ as a legal entity would be out of the question.
A quick poll of Board members’ opinions showed the most suitable location for the House of Journalists would be the former Artists’ Club at 12, Pushkin Street, currently occupied by two regional Writers’ Unions. By pooling our efforts, we could finally resolve this problem, delegates concluded.
The plenum participants voted for the Board and its chairman to continue working until their term expires in accordance with the charter, i.e., until the spring of 2013, when the SCUJ is to hold a regular conference to hear reports and elect new executives.
A working group was set up to compile a list of “The Urals Top 100 Journalists” (a joint initiative by the RF Journalists’ Union and Zhurnalist Publishers’). The goal is to issue a book on the best journalists in each Russian region, so the group is to work out a list of criteria to select candidates for mention in those books.
The conference heard a report on the recent revision within the regional Union and reassignment of duties among the Board members, and recommended that the Board more clearly identify the major directions of its work and assign an official to bear personal responsibility for the attainment of targets in each area.
As a result, the 30 March conference ended in no revolutionary shocks. Some amendments were made to the SCUJ charter, and the general tonality of debates showed the Union is still in demand and has grown notably more active in the past five months – suffice it to say over 75 more journalists have applied for Union membership over that time.
Dear Mr Simonov:
The story of my narrowly escaping death in a violent assault in Perm on 24 June 2010, and of the two attackers managing to escape with impunity, has interested the US Embassy in Moscow which has phoned me several times offering assistance.
In Russia, in contrast, efforts have continued to shield the attack organiser, Sergei Pogor – son of Ivan Pogor, senior inspector at large at the Perm Region Interior Ministry Department – from criminal liability.
S. Konstantinova, senior investigator of the Perm Investigative Committee, who handled the criminal case (No. 3372/2010) about the deliberate infliction on me of grievous bodily harm posing a threat to my life (Article 111.1 of the RF Criminal Code), terminated the criminal proceedings against Pogor Jr. on 13 February 2012 in view of “no elements of crime” found in his actions.
Perm Acting Prosecutor A. Gerba refused to endorse the indictment and submit the case to court with criminal charges brought against only one of the two assailants – A. Nagovitsyn. The police said they would challenge his decision before a higher-standing prosecuting authority.
Ever since I wrote an open letter to then-presidential candidate V. Putin, which was published on 17 January by the Perm-based newspaper Novy Kompanyon under the heading “NO to Filth and Lies!”, the regional prosecutor’s office has failed to do the most essential thing expected of it – to delegate the investigation to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation – and has thus given the Perm police a free hand to commit further arbitrariness. (Let me remind you that the local police declined to open a criminal case against the police officer’s son 4 times, and as many times terminated the criminal proceedings already started against him.)
In my letter to Putin, I described the case in every detail, with references to existing documents signalling police inaction, forgery of service documentation and evidence, failure to fulfil court rulings, and hushing-up of crimes. Although the period established under the law for review of a media report is long over, no check-up of the facts I cited has ever been ordered and no procedural decision ever been taken.
The Perm police’s outrageously unlawful behaviour should per se be a reason for the RF Investigative Committee to start a probe into the criminal case under the number mentioned above.
Also, there are reasons to suspect document rigging in the course of forensic medical examinations – substitution of X-ray shadowgraphs, CAT scans, etc.
As established during the questioning of witnesses, after receiving a left-hand blow on the back of my head from Pogor Jr., I fainted and fell; this caused the investigators to check at my request the possibility of my fainting as a result of a traumatizing blunt injury to the left parietal region of the scull. Yet, an additional forensic medical study produced zero results in view of “insufficient forensic medical data presented”.
Curiously enough, the forensic medics twice failed to acknowledge an earlier-detected fracture of my right cheekbone that I had suffered in addition to the broken scull base and skull cap with internal and external pachymeninx and pia haemorrhages.
Still more curiously, although the additional study’s research report section does mention the right cheekbone fracture again, the same commission’s expert conclusions do not say a single word about this trauma’s likely origin.
Although I have told the investigators and prosecutors about discrepancies in, and doubts about, those expert conclusions, and asked for a new expert study to be ordered involving a neuro-traumatologist and a neurosurgeon, my request has never even been considered.
The way I look at it, the Perm police are trying to save the well-adjusted system of intra-agency arbitrariness. With the connivance of the police command, this gang assault on me, which is deemed under the law to constitute a grave criminal offence, remains actually unsolved.
The tragic events [an elderly man’s rape with a champagne bottle and beating to death by police – Translator.] in Kazan showed what this kind of police violence, uncontrolled by society and the state, can lead to.
I believe the RF Prosecutor General’s interference is indispensable if this attack on me is ever to be fully investigated.
I hereby urge you, Mr Simonov, as a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, to help me have the injustice undone and, instead, full justice done to me.
Mikhail Lobanov, GDF correspondent in Volga Federal District
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